Plot: Forming a Rada-bond with the ice-tiger, Rekala, should have been a momentous occasion for Talon. It’s what he has been waiting for his entire life. But when old enemies kidnap Rekala, Talon knows his quest is only beginning.
Talon is more powerful than anyone dreamed though, making a secondary bond with Tiaro. A daring rescue mission starts Talon on an epic journey that will challenge all he knows about himself and his loved ones, testing his head and heart in ways he had never imagined. Talon must discover if he is strong enough to protect those he cares about.
Quote: “Any encounters you might have with nobility or royalty,` he replied. `As an ambassador for Jaria, it’s important you are respectable when speaking for the realm.`
Nobility! What have I gotten myself into?`
Opinion: A fantasy novel with soul-bonds and various types of magic meant Talon sounded right up my street. I was looking forward to reading it even if just because it’s rare animal-bonds are made with creatures such as tigers. While I enjoyed Talon, I felt it got stronger as it went along.
When I focus on what the plot is truly about, it’s the standard boy-becomes-man story as Talon must learn what he is capable of and accept responsibility with his new powers. This world was refreshing original though and although I have read soul-bond stories before, this had a few new twists. Mainly the fact that once bonded, both Rada and Rada-kin (man and beast) could then shape-shift into any form they desired.
The characters were standard for this type of novel. Talon was likeable but made rash decisions, giving him the chance to grow. Sarlice was a capable warrior, but felt downplayed a lot and Lira was the typical temptress who gave me a bad feeling from the beginning.
The second half of Talon was stronger than the first. There were times during the beginning when I felt overwhelmed by the way the magic was being described and what the bonds meant. It felt as if there should have been a subtler way of explaining what was happening but the pace of the plot meant there wasn’t time.
Some of the description also was misleading. Lira was described as being a “pale frightened girl” when we are first introduced to her character. Talon himself is only around nineteen years old, so is hardly a man. When Lira then announces she is seventeen, it was jolting to find there was very little difference in their ages, yet Talon is becoming a man and Lira still a frightened girl. The actions between the two of them also made little sense until the ages had been clarified.
Overall, I enjoyed this book though. It was full of adventure and magic and soul-searching (both literally and metaphorically). While there was a little confusion at times, it didn’t put me off the story and I will be happy to read the following book to see how things play out.